Halloween 2018 – Our First Haunted House!

If you didn’t already know, I am a massive Halloween nut. It is my favorite holiday, and I have bins and bins of decorations. Now that we are making the move into prop rental, a lot of my decorations and props are now property of the shop.

So, as we wanted to show off what we do and make, the old/new theater space, and show there’s some life on The Boulevard, we threw our first public haunted house this year!

I unfortunately didn’t get pictures when the lights and everything were set, but here – enjoy Jac’s welcome we made as a promo!



And here’s some stills we took during shut down – plus our awesome cast and crew on Halloween night!

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The Other Stores – More News from The Boulevard

So, continuing down the list of updates from 2018, here’s our two sibling businesses, and a short tale of how they came to be! (Seriously, we were not planning on three storefronts in one year. That’s crazy talk.)

In April I made the move to officially live in Eden most of the time. We had met one of the local building owners, and when asked what homes were for rent near the studio… well, there literally was one across the street. Cute little old yellow house, 2-3 bedrooms depending on how you set it up, entertainingly crooked with age. It was actually a lunch room in the 60s, with living areas above.

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(There it is, before it was painted yellow, with the theater next door on fire.)

So, I happily moved in and starting setting it up to suit me. So, see that picture above? Some point after the theater burned down, the local post office was built on that spot. Our local post office is now much bigger and in a different part of town, and by the time I moved in a small church was using that building.

About the churches… Eden has a ridiculous statistic with its high concentration of churches. The Boulevard is not that big a commercial street, but it has Eden Baptist on one end and Shaw Christian Church on the other, plus it had this small church in the middle.

A couple months after I moved in, the little church moved out. At which point Nathaniel jumped on the property, because he had ideas. The plan? The Olde Post Office Theater and Game Parlor. Getting it off the ground has been a bit of slow going with everything else we are up to, but we were able to do one awesome thing with it – This year, Wyrd Armouries sponsored/threw our very first haunted house!

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Our awesome haunted house cast!

More on the haunted house in my next blog post, because hey, it was awesome and deserves its own highlight!

Also in October, the little crooked yellow house got its new storefront addition. See, living on the street that we are trying to help revitalize, I felt a little guilty that this adorable building was now just a home. But it did have two entrances, and the front one goes into a room that can be easily closed off from the rest of the house.

I repainted that room and used it a couple of times in the summer as a pop-up gallery of our work, since the studio could not be opened to the public yet. But by October I made it into its own thing. So, now the little yellow building is home to Crooked Treehouse Enchanting Gifts, my own little hole-in-the-wall witchy shop.

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Front stoop of the witchy shop

That store is now open in the evenings, and the Old Post Office is working on launching. If all goes well, that will we an improv and gaming space, as well as a space where we can teach classes and throw events that show off what Wyrd Armouries can do.

So thank you to The Boulevard for giving us a new home, and don’t mind us as we take over this little corner of it!

Update – The Great and Terrible Studio Building

As promised, I’m following up on our 2018 in review with some more detailed posts, so here’s a “where we are” update. Our big news last year was finding a new building to move our business into. Well, it’s a year later and we’re not nearly as far along as we hoped, but progress has been made and we’re learning a lot.

First, we found some of the history of the building! We got into a storage loft that had been painted shut since the 70s to find various seasonal displays stored away. Not in the best of shape, but still a cool find and let us piece together more of the history. Our tax records put our building as dating from 1930, but we have a suspicion it was built on the bones of a previous building on the same corner. The business in 1930 was Globman’s department store, a local chain started in Martinsville, VA (about 30 minutes away) by a Russian Jewish immigrant family. By the 70s they had outgrown the Boulevard, Eden location and moved to the then new Eden Mall. By 1973 our building was a Western Auto. We found some of their holiday displays, too.

As of this fall, we officially own the building. So that’s exciting! After going back and forth for a while with our landlord to try and find ways to fund fixing our roof, we worked out buying it from him instead. So yeah, it’s ours! Wonders and problems and all.

Here’s a look at the inside – our progress, our problems, and why we still love our new old building.

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“Cynthia’s” side of the studio, where we’ve both been doing much of our work as we renovate the rest.

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Leatherworking station. More permanent furniture is still to come, but I’m loving the room.

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Sewing station.

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Front wall mostly built, to divide our showroom from our work areas. Look at that lovely tin tile ceiling!

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View into Nathaniel’s side of the back… with our room problems showing in the back of the room.

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The beginning of storage and work bays being built on the back side of the dividing wall.

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Display case salvaged from another local building we’ve been clearing out. There are 2 more of these we still have to restore. Love the rolling base Nathaniel built!

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View from the inside of our front window, out onto The Boulevard.

Looking Back on 2018 – The Good, The Bad, and the WTF???

20180208_154144Hi guys! Thanks so much for sticking with us through a crazy year. As promised on our recent Facebook/Instagram post, here’s a quick run down on our past year! And I’ll go more in depth with pictures and other awesomeness soon.

Let’s start with The Good, shall we?

  • We’re still working on our awesome old building – which we are now the proud owners of!
  • We have two “sibling” businesses that we opened in support of our main business: Cynthia is running the Crooked Treehouse, a gift shop featuring our pagan/new age work, the work of other local artists, as well as crystals, candles, and other pretties. Nathaniel is launching The Olde Post Office Theater & Game Parlor, a black box theater, game space, space for classes, and general space to come and hang out.
  • We’re getting involved with our business neighborhood, The Boulevard, and we can tell the efforts are starting to be noticed.
  • We ran our first ever haunted house this past Halloween! Each night got progressively better, it brought in new friends and contacts, and helped more people know we’ve got things going on around here.
  • We made some absolutely amazing things! Our first ever major mascot cosplay commission, leather armor collaborations… We made stuff we are defintely proud of this year.
  • Lots of new contacts, new friends, new opportunities – some of which we can’t talk about yet, but I will definitely be better about sharing them when we can.

Now, The Bad

  • This was not a good year for our show circuit. Starting off the year with what happened with JME/Steampunk World’s Faire putting one show at low attendance followed by a show not happening and being out that money… then being out other shows, parts of shows, or attendance due to weather, luck was not with us.
  • Oh god, the weather! Our rainiest Virginia Renaissance Faire ever (actually led to one day closing completely – check out our video of the river!), two hurricanes through North Carolina…
  • … And speaking of that, we still have not gotten our roof fixed. We’ve gotten quotes for it, but still working on that whole fundraising thing. The rain and wind were not kind to it, so we’re currently working out of about half of the building.
  • …And because of that, we have not yet been able to open the building to the public yet. Sorry guys!

20180831_165003The WTF???

Okay, the WTF is not nearly as specific, but it’s been an interesting year of good and bad working together in really strange ways.

  • For example, fighting with our roof and trying to figure out ways to get it fixed was part of how we ended up buying the building, which opens up all new opportunities for the next year.
  • Going to a tiny show that we did mostly as a filler to try and make up for ones we lost due to weather didn’t net a lot of sales… but it did open us up to a whole new potential part of our business that is now in development.
  • Not being able to open the gallery yet is part of what drove us to open the other related storefronts… which are starting to feed each other in a nice communal way.

So long story short, thank you everyone for their patience this year! We are hoping we’re about to be past a bad year hump, and we have some great plans coming for the next year!

Last Day of Store Fundraising!

Hello everyone! First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to our fundraiser for our new storefront! We have raise 21% of our goal. Not enough for the major repairs, but enough that next week we will be starting our major build out!

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Our window sticker has gotten a lot of excitement and curiosity from our neighbors!

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Turning the office side from industrial cream to warm brown. Going to continue the steampunk aesthetic in here!

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Stripping off decades of old paint, we found beautiful old oak beneath!

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Speaking of beneath, beginning the clean out of the old basement. Yay working sump pump!

There are still a few hours to donate, so click here to help and get cool stuff!

What’s next for us? Next week is loads of lumber, so we can begin building the wall to separate our front gallery from our workshops, with new counters and new flooring for general awesomeness.

Thank you again everyone for your help!

 

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One last cool picture for you: Historic picture of The Boulevard! We found this in the shop while cleaning it out.

 

On Wicked, Steampunk World’s Fair, and JME

Over the last week, serious allegations came out against Jeff Mach and Jeff Mach Events, organizers of Wicked, Steampunk World’s Fair, and several other events in New Jersey. We have taken a few days to consider our response and see how the event company would handle the situation. Last night we received the official response from the new event CEO that Jeff will no longer be involved with any of their events or allowed to be at them.

We’ve been talking about it seriously here, so here is our response for you, our fans and fellow convention goers.

  • We will still be vending at this year’s Wicked Faire and Steampunk World’s Fair. These events are paid for well in advance and we can not afford as a small business to let that money be a wash or scramble to find another show at this point in time.
  • While we personally have never had any problems with Jeff or JME, we do not dismiss or disbelieve those who have. You have our support and we wish you had felt more comfortable to speak out sooner.
  • We will be watching to see how the new management handles this year and evaluating whether we will do these shows in the future.

Conventions, events, and faires are supposed to be places of fun and escape. We all try to watch out for each other, and we hate to see when something like this poisons any part of our greater community.

This is our promise to you:

  • If you are at any event where we are vending, and feel harassed, followed, or otherwise unsafe, we will happily give you shelter. If you feel ill, we will give you a seat. We will stand by you until you find a friend or a member of event staff who can help you.
  • If for any reason our behavior ever makes you uncomfortable, please let us know. We want events we attend to be enjoyable and safe for all.

Our sympathies are with all effected, and we hope that we will all be able to move forward to a good year of events.

Thank you.

Big Update: Our Awesome New Store!

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Those of you who follow us on our social media know that since November things have been super special for our business. So here’s what happened:

In October, Nathaniel found out that the building he had his workshop in had been sold, and that the new owners were not keeping the current tenants. So, we put aside a couple of days to find him a new building, preferably in his home town of Eden, NC. A couple of conversations with amazing locals later, and we were shown a vacant older storefront with amazing front display windows, a built in office, and a huge main room. It needs some love, but it is perfect for what we have wanted.

So, a couple of days later we had an agreement with a new landlord and I was planning a major move to North Carolina to join Nathaniel with the amazing shop.

It’s been a bit of a slow start, getting all of the legal business stuff taken care of and getting the funding together in our slower sales part of the year. But we are on the way to making something awesome! When we’re done, the front will have a sales gallery, the back and office will be made into our studio space. We’ll be able to create more efficiently, have space to teach, and bring our creations to an old downtown.

We need your help fulfilling this dream! We are currently raising money for our build out and building repairs. Visit our IndieGoGo campaign and we’ll give you awesome things for your help. Or, help us spread the word, or buy something awesome from our online store! Everything or anything will help.

We’re really looking forward to fostering a local creative community, and we’d love to have you with us for the adventure!